Press Release: The national theme “Artificial intelligence for a secure society” presented

Cooperation of the State, professional university teams and business associations in AI is strengthening significantly so that technologies can make life easier for people as much as possible.

More info

Cooperation of the State, professional university teams and business associations in AI is strengthening significantly so that technologies can make life easier for people as much as possible.  

Modern information and communications technologies should make life simpler for us. And such technologies include artificial intelligence (AI). For that reason, the Czech Republic has announced the national theme of AI. It reads: Artificial intelligence for a secure society. It is based on the National Strategy of Artificial Intelligence which is linked to the Innovation Strategy and both documents are reflected in the upcoming National Economic Strategy. Progress is made in all areas every day, AI not excluding. The Czech Republic has an interest in maximum support for artificial intelligence, mainly with regard to the needs of the population, and those efforts involve the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIT), universities as well as the business sector. Memoranda of cooperation were signed with top research teams from the Czech Technical University, VŠB – Technical University of Ostrava, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of Charles University and the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic. 

According to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade, Karel Havlíček, the Czech Republic has a chance, after many years, to become a global leader. A leader in artificial intelligence. AI can significantly improve the quality of life in many areas such as healthcare, education, communication with the public administration, trade, services or transport. 

The Government is aware of the importance of AI and, therefore, it gives it exceptional attention; for example, next year, it will support research and development with historically the largest amount of funds. Timely, intensive and continuous attention given to AI helps to prevent the threat of automation and brings many opportunities.  “All large firms and governments of the world invest in artificial intelligence. The Czech Republic has excellent scientists and researchers in this area and artificial intelligence is an important step for us towards becoming an innovation economy with a high added value and pay,“ says Karel Havlíček, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade, and adds: “We draw inspiration from Israel which has been investing effectively in applied research and technology development for some time and is very successful. All that is intended to enhance security of the population and firms and to increase their comfort. It is a clearly set path towards the Czech Republic becoming “the Country for the Future”. Artificial intelligence should help people, make their life easier so that they get more time for other, e.g. creative or care activities, i.e. activities that require emotion – which robots are not capable of and which cannot be automated.”

In connection with the robust support for artificial intelligence, it is currently key for the Czech Republic to: ensure a secure society, make life simpler for people and gain a European centre of excellence. 

The main objectives of the Czech Republic in artificial intelligence are:

(1) Ensuring a secure society 

Here, artificial intelligence helps, for example, with the security of operation of self-driving cars, at large sports events, with anti-terrorism measures but, of course, also the security of computer systems which nowadays manage everything from water or heat supply to apparatuses in hospital intensive care units.

(2) Making life simpler for the people

For example in healthcare, AI helps physicians to better read the X-ray images, in education it can reduce administration and give teachers more time for the pupils, in transport the (semi-)autonomous cars/ buses/ trains enable faster, more fluent and mainly safer operation.

(3) Obtaining a European centre of excellence

Artificial intelligence is one of the main priorities of the European Commission for the period 2021-2027. The first step is to build four networks of European centres of excellence in research, financed from the EU, and subsequently develop the whole AI ecosystem. The future Centre of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence will employ the best scientists and will attract the best talents from abroad. To prepare the Centre of Excellence, MIT cooperates with the Czech Technical University, the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of Charles University, Masaryk University and other collaborating workplaces of the Brno University of Technology and the Technical University of Ostrava. A cutting-edge workplace should be created, cooperating with foreign research centres and institutions in Germany, France, USA or Israel but also with firms. At present, the AI research involves approx. 1,000 experts in the Czech Republic, and participation is agreed with teams from thirty prestigious foreign universities. The construction of the Centre of Excellence is included among the objectives of the Government strategy Digital Czech Republic and the country plans to apply for funding under a call of the European programme Horizon 2020 (the upcoming programme Digital Europe: EUR 9 billion) which could finance the project.  

 “To make the position of the Czech Republic in AI clear, we published a map of artificial intelligence on the MIT website,says Petr Očko, Deputy Minister for Digitisation and Innovation, and adds: “And we support the area also financially, subsidy can be obtained e.g. from the Trend programme that has an allocation of CZK 10 billion, or The Country For The Future programme earmarking nearly CZK 2 billion for SMEs to invest in themes connected with digitisation including artificial intelligence. It is a way to show people in the Czech Republic and across Europe that artificial intelligence can contribute exceptionally to the security of every one of us.”

The Czech Technical University coordinates the preparation of the European Centre of Excellence project. “The project Artificial Intelligence for a Secure Society aims to interconnect top research centres in a network coordinated from Prague. It is the first and crucial step, a basis for building the European Centre of Excellence,” says Vojtěch Petráček, the Rector of the Czech Technical University, who personally leads the project preparation. 

The Rector of the Technical University of Ostrava, Václav Snášel, says: “Artificial intelligence is a key theme also for our school. It can be practically applied in healthcare, transport, mechanical engineering, medicine and in many other fields. We understand that, in connection with AI, it is necessary to address security for the society and, to that end, it will be possible to use our supercomputer centre, one of the largest centres in Europe.”

“The European Centre of Excellence is a wonderful opportunity for our top graduates and experts to get involved in research and development in the field of artificial intelligence. We take it as an opportunity but also as great motivation for further work,“ says Ladislav Skrbek, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University.  

 “We have cooperated with the Government and the Ministry of Industry and Trade from the beginning in order to obtain for the Czech Republic the European Centre of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence. We must not underestimate the development of artificial intelligence and so we are glad that we are making another step under the good cooperation with MIT. The memorandum we signed will also help firms to establish partnerships and international cooperation with scientific teams in research and development of artificial intelligence,“ says Dagmar Kuchtová, Director General of the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic. 

The signing of memoranda of cooperation in the field of artificial intelligence between the State, the professional and the business sector is a historical landmark that should help the Czech Republic to make considerable progress in the field. Logically, a sufficient number of people with technical education needs to be ensured and so, starting in the new school year that is approaching, some primary school will launch a pilot testing of the subject Technology, which will be gradually expanded. MIT, among other institutions, is cooperating intensively on it with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. 

And a number of events are under preparation to support and develop artificial intelligence. In September, MIT will present AI and the teams of the Centre of Excellence, as one of the pillars of the Innovation Strategy 2019-2030, to the general public at the conference Future Port Prague.  That will be followed by professional legal conference SolAIr organised by the Institute of State and Law of the Czech Academy of Sciences, under the auspices of MIT, focusing on artificial intelligence regulation. In October, Brno will hold the International Engineering Fair where the exposition of MIT and of other ministries and subordinate organisations will also focus on The Czech Republic: The Country for The Future, where artificial intelligence will be a crucial theme. MIT will present the Czech Republic as a leader in AI at events in Israel, Brussels or the USA.

Give an idea

We create the Czech Republic all together. And we are interested in your point of view. We see the key to prosperity and moving forward particularly in cooperation. Have you got an idea? Share it.

Give us your idea

Our partners